United States
41° 33' 24.1416" N, 73° 2' 41.838" W


Snow starts to fall and the child smiles

Her little hand touches the glass

Of the frost covered window pane.


And, as her fingers feel the cold

Her whole face lights up with pleasure

Because she is a Winter Child.  


She stares at the flakes in the sky

And wonders where her mittens are

As well as her snow suit and gloves.  


She listens to the keening wind

And imagines castles of ice

Filled with snow faeries and Frost Nymphs.


She will be the castle's princess

All the creatures will be her friends

And they will have great adventures.  


Her breath leaves fog clouds on the glass

And she draws a heart with her hand

Placing two initials inside.  


They are in clumsy lettering

But the insistent scribble is

More beautiful than skilled cursive.  


When the cloud starts to disappear

The Winter Child breathes again

Drawing a new heart with her hand.  


The same two initials inside

The same amount of happiness

And even more insistency.  


She is indeed a winter Child

But she does not understand that

Her breath is warm and glass is cold.


The heat of her breath on the pane

Is no match for the cold outside

So it will fade away to dust.


But, she never, ever, gives up

She will not let the heart shatter

Or harm come to the name inside.


The initials are still scrawled there

Even though the fog cloud is gone

And the Winter Child is asleep.


Her mother came to say good night

And found her pressed agains the glass

Eyes closed and gently mumbling.  


She picked up her sleeping daughter

And wrapped her up under covers

Kissing her cheek before leaving.


She knew she held a Winter Child

Who dreamed of Hail Kings and Ice Knights

Frozen Dragons and Bitter Sprites.  


She herself was a Summer Child,

But opposites like to attract

So she cherished her Winter Child.  


The mother left and closed the door

Not seeing the faded fog heart

Or the name wrapped inside its warmth.  


The little girl slept peacefully

As her mother walked down the stairs

Turned off the light and went to bed.


And while the two of them slept on

That name stayed etched on the window

Noticed by neither of their dreams.


But the heat of the initials

Mixed with the urgency of love

Inside the little girl's fog cloud


Left a mark upon the outside

So that no bitter sickness or

Cruelty of cold could enter there.  


The name was the Winter Child's gift

A present to her from the one

Who used to lay claim to the name.  


The one who had first taught the Child

Of Summer how to love the cold

And to love the falling snowflakes.


The one who also taught the  Child

Of Winter how to cherish warmth

So she could love her mother back.


When the girl woke to the new snow

She cried aloud with happiness

And ran to build her Ice Castle.


And while she sculpted tall pillars

Her mother made hot chocolate

So her Winter Child could be thawed.  


And as she cleaned her daughter's room

She smelt a crispness in the air

Like the dying scent of flowers.


And it was mixed with hints of snow

Reminding her of far off days

When she had danced with something cold.


She placed her hand on the window

As she watched her daughter playing

And seemed to feel a hand on hers.


The hand was papery and thin

Covered with spidery blue veins

She felt a lump rise in her throat.  


The touch had been so gently sweet

Like a cool breeze carrying leaves

Or the first flakes of winter snow.


She turned her back on the window

And walked slowly from the bedroom

Aching for the name in the heart.


She heard her daughter run inside

And forced herself to push back tears

Because if she did not then it


Would be so much harder to live

And raise her darling Winter Child

If only she could realize that


No harm would come from that window

Or from the name etched on its pane

Because the urgency of a 


Winter Child's well-meaning scribble

Had been what called it from outside

And given it a chance to help


Protect both Mother and Daughter

From becoming too fond of the cold…  



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